German packaging deposits cleared for take-off

Court victory for government finally opens the way to one-way container deposits

The German government is preparing to introduce deposits on a range of one-way drinks containers before the end of this year after the failure of a lawsuit brought by manufacturing and retailing interests. The coalition of 16 firms, coordinated through packaging makers' association Agvu could, however, still appeal to Germany's constitutional court.

At issue is the government's right to publish official data showing that the share of beer and mineral water packaged in refillable containers fell below a required minimum of 72% in 1999. Germany's 1991 packaging ordinance requires the introduction of punitive deposits on one-way packaging for these drinks six months after the figures' formal publication.

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